One recurring theme in recent presidential campaigns has been the need to “change the tone” in Washington. Now, if you believe any candidate could actually accomplish this feat, I have some Florida swamp land to sell you!
The political scene has always been divisive and for many reasons. One is that differences are often irreconcilable due to underlying philosophies and worldviews. The other is that most people don’t handle disagreements very well. They resort to verbal warfare, name calling, and condescension in order to convert opponents to their point of view. It doesn’t work in politics and it certainly doesn’t work in life.
Let’s face it: opinions vary and most people arrive at theirs after legitimate, heartfelt thought. Often, differences are based on deep philosophical views where there isn’t a right or a wrong answer. In other cases (especially involving politics and religion), people may agree with the goal but differ in methods. A good example is whether government spending or tax cuts do a better job in stimulating the economy. Both sides have valid points. They just have different approaches to achieving a common goal.
Throughout life, you’ll be in situations with others who aren’t “on the same page.” It might be with a family member, friend, or work colleague. When you’re interacting with someone with whom you disagree, be “agreeable” in your demeanor. After sharing your thoughts and genuinely listening to his or hers, agree to disagree if that’s the case. Avoid making it personal, and recognize that differences of opinion will happen as a part of life. In most instances, you’re not going to change their mind anyway!
Share these questions with the young adults in your life (and maybe even answer them yourself!):
Do you keep your cool and a respectful attitude when debating with others? Are you able to separate the person from his or her beliefs on an issue? Do you notice the difference? In what way(s)? Share your thoughts below … we’d love to hear from you!